He lets us run

He lets us run
by Joel Howard

My neighbor, father
Had sons young and old
Outside one day
The young one left, I'm told
Father just watched
He let him go
Seemed he bereft
But still let him run

He and I had lunch
The week or two later
"Father," I asked
"What is the matter?"
He told me his son had taken
His inheritance early
"I can't believe it"
Father said to me

"You let him do that?!"
I asked, in guffaw
"You let him take all he'd get?"
He answered sadly
Yet unmoved
"I let him do 
what he would do"

Weeks went on
Days passed by
I saw father looking 
For his son outside
Every evening
And every day
Father stood watching
That eastward way

Crazy, I thought it
That the young one would leave
Never had I
Seen such abhorrence
Still I remember
the man next door
Calm his countenance
Such pain, endured

He lets us take
Our time on the way
He lets us run
He lets us escape
Though not forever, 
He will return
Father lets go
The ones who would learn

Some may not come back
Some may leave long
Yet there's a remnant
Who will belong
Faithful, he watches
Faithful, he prays
That the prodigal
Would come home one day

I saw the father
change, though, his plan
The day his son came back
This night, as the sun setting
Ran he, yes ran he
To meet his son returning

I saw him sprint, no
Yes stumble
Pulled he a muscle
Scraped he a knee
But met they his son and
He in love's embrace
Mercy met manhood
Feet found a way

It reminds me of scripture
That teaches that God will return
To those who turn to him
God will forgive
Those who confess to him
So this dad ran
To the son who came in

He lets us run
Yet hopes to win
Gives a head start
Lets us begin
Saves his sprint for the last
Saves his run for the end
God lets us run first
But man does he win!

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